Pat Shingleton: "Birds and Fish from the Sky..."
We're enjoying our first legitimate frontal passage of the season, complete with showers, clear skies, breezy weather and of course the chilly temperatures. With more frontal passages and cool weather expected, bird watchers will witness migrations. Duck season is around-the-bend and hunters will also have an eye to the sky. Bird watchers report that the ever popular Ruby Throated Hummingbird will leave our area this month with a few staying year-round. The website: hummingbirds.net reports that in addition to the Ruby Throated Hummingbird, twelve species of hummingbirds, from the Rufous and Black-chinned to the Broad-tailed, Broad-billed and Green-eared enjoy their stay in south Louisiana. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species that breeds east of the Rockies and will journey to their wintering grounds in Central America. A previous edition of National Wildlife Week’s, “Wildlife and Weather” suggests keeping your feeders in place for some stragglers. From birds in the sky to fish from the sky...On October 23, 1947, the cafe in Marksville was suddenly filled with news that fish were falling from the sky. A biologist for the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries provided this account: "In an 80,000 square foot area, thousands of freshwater fish, native to local waters, were landing on Main and Monroe streets. The fish were falling in intervals, landing on roofs and in back yards." Marksville's Bank Director, J.M. Barnham discovered hundreds in his yard while his cashier, J.E. Gremillion was clunked on the head with a "hickory shad." Researchers have reviewed the data from this day that recorded mild weather, light breezes but remain stumped as to the cause of the Great Fish Fall in Marksville.